On Wednesday morning, VIA Rail officially decided to take their chances by signing a new contract with the German company, Siemens to construct their new fleet of trains. Instead of going with Montreal based company, Bombardier Inc, VIA Rail decided to pick Siemens AG to build the new cars for their fleet.
According to Reuters, VIA Rail stated on Wednesday morning that they gave Siemens Canada a $989 million contract to replace their current fleet of trains operating in the Quebec City/Windsor Corridor area.
The German company is now set to replace 32 railcars that frequent the route from Quebec to Ontario. Even though there was pressure from Quebec to chose Bombardier, which is based out of Montreal, in the end, they decided to go with Siemens.
This is the second time that Bombardier has missed out on a large contract from VIA Rail. In February, Bombardier lost out on a 1 billion dollar contract to France's Alstom SA to provide rail cars for their light rail system. Now, this second large loss has definitely shaken the company.
Siemens not only won the big to modernize VIA Rail's fleet, but they've also won the bid to maintain the cars in the future. The maintenance contract is valued at $23.7 million dollars per year for 15 years total. This becomes a grand total of $266.6. million dollars for maintaining the fleet.
#Siemens to provide @VIA_Rail with new fleet of 32 bi-directional trains. These new passenger trains will provide more than 9100 seats with more comfortable cars, quieter rides & improved accessibility. Testing & commissioning will be performed in Canada https://t.co/7jWG3rwR7U pic.twitter.com/uTO1458HWW— Siemens Canada (@SiemensCanada) December 12, 2018
After Siemens was chosen for the contract, they tweeted out this message explaining that the new trains would be more comfortable, quieter and they'd improve accessibility.